Artist: Diary Of Dreams
Release Date: 26th August 2011
Label: Accession Records
DIARY OF DREAMS is finally here with the eagerly anticipated tenth studio album ‘Ego: X’. With a band of their quality it is always a matter of a great wonder to see how far and where they’ve pushed their boundaries to. I’ll return to that point at the end of our review. Their intrinsic feel for melody, atmosphere, attention to composition, excellent lyrics, all of these aspects, as always, are making their presence to be felt throughout, but where they exceed their previous work is in the manner in which they honed their precision when it comes to how they’ve connected songs into a dramatic narrative, it’s not just an album, but a theatre play, an artistic film, a culmination of their vision and thought.
So what is ‘Ego:X’? It is the anonymous, unknown person whose drama will not move anyone, for it will be all too common. A part of his/her fall will be due to an utter and thus inhuman idealism as a contemplation of what one lacks. And what if one tries to bring together two people who judge themselves according to their ideals and the others on their actions? So ‘Undividable’ is not based on any real situation it is just a projection of a wish by individuals who cannot ensure and guard anything of emotional importance since their emotions became caricatures of themselves, a series of emotional peaks only because any fluctuation cannot be felt. The protagonist sees the face of the beloved everywhere, which means not that he sees her nowhere but that he cannot see at all.
In the sneak preview I have mentioned the controversial use of Amelia Brightman’s vocals. The crux of that is the way the song breaks expectations. Though it would appear as a duet, it does not come in its usual form. Brightman’s and Hates’s voices don’t seem to be engaged in a dialogue, but each is a monologue, yet they are connected. They are connected in their broken form as the feeling of the song is that the “couple” seeks different approaches of sexual expression. If the duet was projected onto real life then the logical conclusion is that a break-up will follow. Thankfully the band in the second CD has a different version of this song so the listeners can come to their own conclusions about the feeling the song evokes.
Just to pick on other parts of the whole, my favourite of the album is still ‘Grey The Blue’. It’s not only because it’s in English and easier to access and thus more immediate within its meaning for me, but it’s a superbly evocative song, one of the best examples of their skills regarding composition and build-up of an atmosphere, the expressiveness of Hates’s voice is at its best here. It’s also dramatic and lends itself richly to imagination. ‘Immerdar’ is one of the melancholic ballads that I’m sure that their fans will be raving about for months. In some ways it brings to mind their earlier work and may deem them as staying within their own comfort zone to the critics. Within this style of music the melancholic feeling can often feel belaboured, but DIARY OF DREAMS has always been an exception, yet with this song they make the melancholic feeling within it to feel at its most real.
‘Echo in Me (X-Version)’ is a classic DIARY OF DREAMS song that one can connect with the ‘Butterfly: Dance!’, at least in terms of logical conclusion of the desolation presented in the latter. ‘Fateful Decoy’ builds slowly and maintains a heavy atmospheric feeling almost harrowing and moribund especially in the parts where piano is used. Speaking of moribund this is exactly the feeling you get throughout ‘Weh:Mut’, a feeling which at times competes with the lighter synth notes in order to triumph in its bleakness.
I’ll go now to the pushing the boundaries reference in the prologue. This album is the best DIARY OF DREAMS to date. All the familiar characteristics of their music and their sound are combined brilliantly in order to produce this album. Yet the problem is the very future. What will their next step be? I’m thinking that the DIARY OF DREAMS are at the same artistic crossroad where METALLICA once stood with ‘Master Of Puppets’. Surely it is tempting to continue this way. Many fans might demand it. But I feel that a change of some sorts will take place. Maybe I’m wrong. We will see...
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Total: 10 / 10